Dancing Meditation

We need to listen with our bodies as well as with our minds, for God speaks to us through our pains and pleasures, through our wills, emotions, and senses. – Listening Hearts, p. 31

dancing meditationFor this meditation, you’ll need comfortable clothes, enough space in which to move freely about, and if you are using music, something to play it on. Select your music and have it ready before you begin. If possible, go barefoot. Read this guide over once or twice before you begin.

Take a moment – either sitting or standing – to become still. Draw slow, deep breaths. Open yourself to God’s presence; allow yourself to become immersed in that presence. Gently survey the circumstances of your life, identifying any question or issue with which you may be wrestling. If nothing specific comes to mind that you would like to reflect upon, get in tune with the general state of your being.

Read the following passage from Scripture, or if you prefer, select another passage that you’d like to meditate with today. Repeat your text over and over, eventually zeroing in on a few words or even a single word.

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance …  – Ecclesiastes 3:4

When you feel centered, turn on the music you’ve selected. It might be rhythmic with a strong beat, or melodic, gentle and flowing. Close your eyes, breathing calmly and listening to the music. Keep your words from Scripture and your discernment question close to your heart.

If so moved, stand up. When you’re ready, allow your body to move freely to the music. Don’t force any movements. You might simply sway or rock (gentle movements that you can also do while seated, if you prefer). You might feel a desire to twirl or make larger movements. Go ahead! If you need to re-center, return to your words from Scripture, incorporating them into your dance. Continue to move freely, allowing tension to leave the body so that lightness and space remain.

When you are finished dancing, sit still for a few moments, listening to the music. Notice the sensations in your body, the beating of your heart and feeling in your limbs. You may or may not want to turn off your music now.

When you are ready to draw your meditation to a close, take a final moment of prayer, giving thanks to God.

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